Which Bank Should You Choose?

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Which Bank Should You Choose

There are so many banking options available that choosing a financial institution can feel almost impossible. Unfortunately, to find the best bank, you need to compare the ones available which can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. Although this might take you some time initially, it will be worthwhile in the end, saving you money, providing better functionalities for you and giving you more security that your money is safe.

To choose the right bank for you, you should think about the following:

Bank reputation

With banks collapsing and the fluctuation in interest rates since the pandemic, the faith and trust people have in banks has severely dwindled. For this reason, it is important to choose a bank that has a good and strong reputation, so that you can have trust that the bank will keep you, your details and your money safe. One of the ways you can have faith in a banks reputation is by choosing a bank that has proven longevity, look at the oldest banks from across the world.

Interest and fees

Banks charge a variety of different fees, including a monthly fee just for the privilege of having a bank account. You should compare the different fees of the banks available, to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to. You should also think about interest. If you have a savings account and the interest rate is low, you’re going to be earning less money on your savings than you might if you used a bank with a higher interest rate. Similarly, if you intend to use a bank to loan money, for example, through an overdraft, a higher interest rate means you’ll end up paying more money back, while a lower interest rate will make the loan cheaper for you overall.

Customer Service

Another important thing to look at is the customer service a bank provides. It is important that the bank you choose provides good customer service and will be available to help and support you if you come across any problems, or have any questions. To evaluate customer services, look at the banks response times, the different channels they provide (i.e. phone, online chat, email, etc) to see how you can get help, and also look at real customer reviews.

Locality

Depending on your banking preferences, this one may not be as important to you. Some people are happy to bank completely online and don’t want or need local branches, or even ATM machines. However, most people will want a local ATM so they can access and withdraw their money, and some will prefer a local branch so they can visit it and speak to someone face-to-face if they need any help.

Security

As well as wanting to know the bank is reputable and isn’t going to come crashing down, losing your money in the process, you also want to know the bank is going to keep your money and your personal details safe. All banks have security measures in place to protect their customers information and accounts, and it is important to familiarise yourself with their safety procedures. Things to look for are banks who use muti-factor authentication and encryption.

Different account types

There are a number of different accounts, but there are two main types. The first are checking accounts, which is a main account that you’ll use to receive money, and pay your bills and daily expenses. The second is savings accounts, which is an account you can use to save your money. So when you’re choosing a bank, you need to make sure the bank has the right type of account for you.

Mobile banking and online services

Mobile banking and online services make it much easier for you to manage your accounts, transfer money, pay your bills, cancel standing orders and direct debits, and much more. Online services allow you to do all of this (and more) through your computer, meanwhile mobile banking (i.e. phone apps) gives you the convenience of doing this through your mobile phone. If this is a service you intend to use, you should look for a bank that provides online and mobile banking tools that are easy to use and user friendly.

Additional services

As well as the standard account options, some banks offer additional services such as insurance, investment advice and financial planning. If this is something you think you need, you should look at the different services and associated fees, when choosing the best bank for you.

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The right bank for you will very much depend on what you need from your bank, what services and functions you require and your personal preferences. Before you start to choose between banks, you should first have a good think about what you need and always do your research. Use online tools, look at public financial records and statements, customers reviews and ratings from reputable agencies.

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